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The South Irish Horse in the Great War (Hardback)

Regimental History WWI Ypres Flanders Marne Mons 1915 1916 1917 1918 Military

By Mark Perry
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 211
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526736956
Published: 26th November 2018

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On 12 June 1922 King George V received at Windsor Castle representatives of the six disbanded Irish regiments. While five had long and distinguished service records, the South Irish Horse (SIH) had only been raised in 1902, as a result of the second Boer War, but too late to take part.

On the outbreak of The Great War a single squadron of the SIH was sent to Flanders which was involved in the retreat from Mons and the Marne and the early battles of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle.

The remainder of the Regiment followed and over the next four years, won ten battle honours including Loos 1915, Somme 1916 and 1918, Albert, St Quentin, Courtrai and finally France and Flanders 1915-1918. Losses were severe and there were many acts of gallantry.

This book, while not an official history, fills a void by describing the achievements of this unique and short-lived regiment and the colourful characters who served in it. Certainly there is a fine story to tell and it will be invaluable to those researching former members.

As my grandfather served in C Squadron South Irish Horse, this book was an no-brainer for me to purchase. The author openly states that information about the S.I.H. is hard to find in any great amount, due to the brevity of the standing of the regiment (20 years from forming to disbandment) and the general lack of things WW1-related.

The book is an easy read, certainly shows that Mark Perry has done his best to discover as much as humanly possible about the regiment, and confirms all of the stories my grandfather told me about back in the 1960s concerning his experiences both as a cavalryman when he first joined up, and later as a dismounted cavalryman in the trenches post September 1917.

In my perhaps slightly biased opinion, this is a book which respects the men of the South Irish Horse, gives a good detail of the background to the regiment as well as its latter days in WW1. I have enjoyed learning a lot about my grandfather's regiment and am now able to piece even more of his wartime experiences and places of action together.

Amazon Customer

The author has diligently made the best use of the somewhat limited sources available: unit diaries, press reports, surviving service records and a small number of personal accounts.

Perry writes "Given the now changed political landscape in Ireland as a whole, I hope this allows their descendants to take pride in their achievements and encourage them to delve deeper into their family history.' I would certainly recommend this book to them. For the general reader, the Irish dimension, in particular, is of some interest.

Stand To! Journal of the Western Front Association

The South Irish Horse Regimental history is captured in this book for posterity for historians and World War I researchers and serves as an excellent example of the small unit esprit de corps that can be fostered when given the right support and equipment for war.

Read the full review here

Argunners, Christopher 'Moon' Mullins

I was expecting this book to be about a particular breed of horse, but South Irish Horse refers to a regiment and the part they played in the Great War. As such, it is another brilliant account, highly detailed, about this particular regiment, and is utterly enthralling.

Books Monthly

Raised in 1902 and disbanded in 1922; one squadron served as part of the BEF at Mons in 1914 and subsequently a further five squadrons served with distinction throughout the Great War in France and Flanders. This is the first published account of the South Irish Horse and the author has done well to pull together a coherent and relatively detailed story draw largely from incomplete war diaries and press reports. He includes a reconstructed roll of honour and a list of honours and awards.

Military Historical Society

About Mark Perry

Mark Perry was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Ipswich for the sons of serving sailors, where he developed a passion for all things historical, particularly military history.

His career in surveying took him to Ireland where he now lives.

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